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All the strangest and most annoying exercises we’ve witnessed in the uni gym

Is the six pack worth it?

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way suggesting that these activities do not constitute part of regular cardio and strength training. For all I know, there is no better way to get fit than by moonwalking on a treadmill and hogging all the 5kg weights while you snap your latest gym selfie. That being said, some people seem to go out of their way to make the biggest show out of their fitness regime as humanly possible. For those of you who haven't ventured into Liverpool uni's gym, welcome to the comprehensive rundown of the daftest and most aggravating things I've seen workout weirdos do.

The knee-bend-arm-swing

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I first noticed this move back in January when the New Years resolution gym rats joined, on a whim and without a clue. The subject stood on the mats for 20 minutes, rhythmically bending their knees and swinging their arms, creating a jaunty bobbing motion. This continued for quite some time. I was transfixed. What were they achieving? Were they warming down? Was this cardio? So many questions that were never answered.

The spider monkey

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No joke. All fours, arse in the air, clambering along the full length of the mat section with fully extended arms. Having tried this in the comfort of my own home, I will admit that this is somewhat strenuous, but that doesn't stop it looking absolutely ridiculous.

Backwards is best

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This is another one that I'm sure is good for something, if only I could figure out what. Walking on treadmills and cross trainers backwards is a habit I've never got into and don't intend to to be honest. When I tried I just lost my balance and ended up looking like even more of a tit than I do running forwards.

The what-are-you-trying-to-stretch? stretch

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Bent knees = no stretch. The literal point is that the muscle you're stretching is taught. So why is it that I catch no-idea-neds straight out of Vine Court 'cooling down' by touching their toes, knees at 90 degrees, over a step that I needed 15 minutes ago? Save yourself the time and save me the stress and just stay in halls.

The HULK SMASH ball-slam

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Oh my god. Is there anything more annoying? Of course this is a great way to work out (I know because the fitness posters on the walls told me), but that doesn't make it any less painful to be around. There's always that one guy who picks up the slam ball just as the chase comes on the TV and goes hell for leather on the floor, creating the absolute loudest possible noise and throwing you right off your game. It's as if he is screaming to the entire gym: "I AM THE ALPHA CHIMP OF THIS TRIBE! HEAR MY POWER!"

Karate kid warm down

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Can someone please tell me what it is about karate chopping your leg muscles that cools them down? The hours people waste whacking their gym buddy's calves with the edge of their flattened hands is unbelievable. Sometimes they get a little to into it and it turns into full on massage, sometimes they swap a whole warm down for this technique. What are you even doing?

Only child syndrome

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Without a doubt, the most annoying person of all, is the only child. The only child will collect one of every piece of gym equipment. Resistance band, weights, mats, steps, balls, balance boards… the lot, and will sit on the floor fooling around with them item-by-item, until they get bored. Then they will leave everything on their spot on the mats and go get changed, leaving the rest of us to clear up their debrit. Get a grip. Be considerate.

But at the end of the day, what's important is that people are exercising… even if you are the bane of everyone else's workout.